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31 Oct 13. Singapore Technologies Engineering (ST Engineering) has announced the dissolution of a joint venture (JV) owned in conjunction by ST Aerospace, the group’s aerospace arm, and BAE Systems. The JV – Singapore British Engineering (SBE) – was established in 1988 and was focused on promoting BAE Systems’ aerospace products in Singapore and the surrounding region. Equity in the JV was split 51:49 with ST Aerospace holding the larger share. However, the two companies agreed to dissolve the company in 2012, and on 30 October ST Engineering announced that the dissolution process is now complete. An ST Engineering spokesperson told IHS Jane’s that despite the voluntary winding up of their JV company, ST Aerospace and BAE Systems continued to co-operate within the region. (Source: Jane’s)

04 Nov 13. BlackBerry Ltd abandoned on Monday its plan to sell itself
and said its CEO is stepping down, sparking a 16 percent dive in its share price and raising fears the struggling smartphone maker is running out of options. After a two-month review of strategic options and talks with potential buyers that included Facebook, Lenovo and private equity firms such as Cerberus, BlackBerry said it will abandon a sale. Instead, it will raise $1bn by issuing convertible notes to a group of long-term investors including its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings. The only formal offer to buy BlackBerry – a tentative one – had come from Fairfax, which wanted to take the company private for $4.7bn. But sources said Fairfax boss Prem Watsa had trouble financing the deal. Fairfax will now end up with $250m of the debt offering. BlackBerry shares closed 16 percent lower at $6.50, giving the company a market value of about $3.38bn, down from its boom-time peak of $80bn.
“Now we’re back to the downward spiral,” said BGC Partners analyst Colin Gillis. “They’ve got $1bn more cash that buys them time. The drumbeat of
negativity is likely to continue.”
BlackBerry named John Chen, credited with turning around Sybase Inc in the late 1990s, as its interim CEO and executive chairman. Sybase, an enterprise software company, was eventually acquired by SAP AG in 2010.
(Source: Reuters)

05 Nov 13. Worst may still be to come for defence sector. As US lawmakers squabbled over how to reduce the national deficit, increasing the risk they would trigger deep, indiscriminate cuts to the world’s largest defence budget, the chief executive of the world’s biggest defence company, warned the effect on the industry would be devastating. In March, despite all the shrill cries of doom from military and industry leaders, those cuts – a further 10 per cent across the board reduction – became a reality. But so far Robert Stevens, Lockheed Martin’s executive chairman, has been proven wrong. Lockheed Martin and many of its peers are still increasing sales and profit and offering shareholders a solid return on their investment. In fact, the shares of the top US defence companies by revenue have all gained since March, outperforming both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500. Defence companies have helped themselves by being ahead of the game. Over the past three or so years, they have cut costs, reduced staff numbers, taken out entire layers of management and shut manufacturing sites as they prepared for the end of a boom decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. All this, together with share buybacks and strong commitments to dividend payments, has kept investors happy, even while the companies they own have had to deal with the uncertainty over the defence budget cuts and the delays in getting procurement projects signed off. But some executives – including those from European defence companies, many of which have built sizeable US divisions in the past decade – worry the industry is running out of rope just as deep cuts are working their way through the Pentagon’s procurement process. (Source: glstrade.com/FT)

07 Nov 13. The King Vehicle Engineerin

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